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imtheman
22-12-2010, 02:04
Often times in codexes there are references to mercenaries and things of that sort. however there are no actual merc units in 40k, like there are in fantasy. i was wondering what units would you concider to be mercenaries, and add a rule to allow that too

Toldavf
22-12-2010, 02:13
Kroot are the only playable unit that spring to mind. Are you talking about "regiments of renown" but for 40k?

Pooky
22-12-2010, 02:31
To my current understanding of the 40k fluff/ universe no race has enough 'spare resources' to have mercs running around. Since it is so grim-dark everyone is on the point of collapse.

Conversely, lets say there were merc units available, I don't think that every army could have them. For example, say that a Choas SM squad was a merc unit. I don't see the Grey Knights asking for their help any time soon.

If you really wanted to have 'merc' units I think the best place to look would be the Apoc rule book where it states who can 'ally' with who.

Mannimarco
22-12-2010, 02:44
I could have sworn I read a BL novel with a bunch of mercs in it (not central characters though). Damned if I can remember the name of it though.

Obliterators are mercs who will fight for any chaos army willing to fork over the technology they want.

kroot are mercs

blood axe orks are mercs

the farsight enclave tau are mercs are they not (my Tau codex is currently MIA but wasnt there somthing in there listing all these races they have supposedly fought alongside?)

Asi the Red
22-12-2010, 03:37
Emperor's Mercy by Henry Zou features the Orphratean Purebred.

Expecting to see soldiers of the Archenemy, Roth instead recongnised something else entirely - the most feared mercenary formation of the subsector if not the entire Ultima Segmentum: the Orphratean Purebred. Eugenically bred humans with their long lean frames poured into snakeskin bodygloves, there could be no conincidence in them being here.

SteelSpectre
22-12-2010, 03:50
There are plenty of Mercenary units around. They just rarely fight any different than a Guard regiment, so they are left to the imaginations of those who wish to develop their own Mercenary units. I for one am planning to make a Cyber-punkesqe corporation that deals in Mercenaries and technology. Just waiting to see if there will be any plastic Stormtroopers, as I dislike the plastic guards currently and don't want a all metal army.

bossfearless
22-12-2010, 03:52
GW could take a lesson from Privateer Press's handling of mercenaries in Warmachine/Hordes. An assortment of characterful specialists who will/won't work for certain factions based on their own reasons. Mercs create a lot of interesting combos that can't be matched by an all in-faction list.

feintstar
22-12-2010, 03:55
The Uriel Ventris novel "Black Sun Dead Sky" has a renegade band of Marines stuck on a deamonworld, and mentions the chapters they came from ranging from Wolf Brothers to Raven guard and others - but also mentions that at least one of the above worked as a mercenary for a while at least.

I figure Mercenaries is more of a formation/army book in their own right rather than a unit that fights alongside another army list. I'd be looking at the Badab book with allied marines and guard units as a good bet, throw in some Kroot for flavour and done.

Comrade Penguin
22-12-2010, 04:21
I don't think Mercenaries really fit into 40k. I can't imagine a SM captain walking into a local bar and asking some ruffians to help him in a fight. For that matter I can't see a hive tyrant, IG commander, Necron lord, sister superior, grandmaster, or farseer doing that either.

The armies that would realistically take mercenaries already have them in their fluff/ codices. Orks have a bunch of units that would be mercenaries and many units from different legions (oblits) in chaos fight for the most powerful lord. About one third of the DE codex are mercenaries and their entire army is based around that theme. And finally Tau have their kroot and vespid. I fully expect tau to get more mercs whenever they get a new book.

I think they should keep it this way, I don't want to see some silly halfbreed ork commando riding into battle with the tyranids because they promised him some gold :shifty:. Let's keep that kind of stuff to fantasy.

DuskRaider
22-12-2010, 04:29
Actually, the Imperium makes great use of Mercenaries / Rogue Traders all of the time, and a good amount of them are Xenos. A good example is the Battle of Big Toof River, where the IG Commanders actually hired Blood Axe Orks to battle against the other Klans.

Comrade Penguin
22-12-2010, 05:01
Actually, the Imperium makes great use of Mercenaries / Rogue Traders all of the time, and a good amount of them are Xenos. A good example is the Battle of Big Toof River, where the IG Commanders actually hired Blood Axe Orks to battle against the other Klans.

News to me. I still don't see IG grunts holding a tench line with their ork pals. And the imperium hiring xenos must be VERY rare, as something like that could get you burnt by the inquisition. Xenos mercs fit in better with rpgs like Rogue Trader, where you are almost an outlaw to begin with. I just don't want to see a bunch of Vulkan space marines fighting alongside some harlequens. That kind of stuff should be kept to apoc.

SteelSpectre
22-12-2010, 05:08
News to me. I still don't see IG grunts holding a tench line with their ork pals. And the imperium hiring xenos must be VERY rare, as something like that could get you burnt by the inquisition. Xenos mercs fit in better with rpgs like Rogue Trader, where you are almost an outlaw to begin with. I just don't want to see a bunch of Vulkan space marines fighting alongside some harlequens. That kind of stuff should be kept to apoc.

I believe it is actually fairly common on the eastern fringe. The Imperium has almost completely abandoned that part of the Imperium, with the Ultramarines being the biggest Imperial force around there. People out that far have to think outside the box when they defend their planet. If it means hiring Ork Mercenaries, sure, just keep it on the down low.

Besides, they probably payed them and pointed them at the enemy, it's not like they fought literally side by side.

DuskRaider
22-12-2010, 05:34
News to me. I still don't see IG grunts holding a tench line with their ork pals. And the imperium hiring xenos must be VERY rare, as something like that could get you burnt by the inquisition. Xenos mercs fit in better with rpgs like Rogue Trader, where you are almost an outlaw to begin with. I just don't want to see a bunch of Vulkan space marines fighting alongside some harlequens. That kind of stuff should be kept to apoc.

Yup, it actually happens more than you think. Remember, a lot of planets aren't in contact with the Imperium as a whole as much as you'd think. A lot of these planets and systems are more or less on their own, and they'll often turn to mercenaries for support in the event of an attack, be it Kroot, Orks, Eldar, or whatever.
In fact, this is what makes Blood Axes what they are. They parlay, trade, and fight for humans all of the time. Even (and especially) against other Klans.

AFnord
22-12-2010, 05:39
There have been mentions of minor xenos races that have worked side by side with people in the imperium (there were a xenos merc in Inquisitor). Kroots are also, as people have mentioned, hired by others. Eldar mercs are also not unheard of. But most mercs working for the imperium will be common humans, be it rogue traders or common free men who are ready to kill for money.

Adding mercs would be a bit tricky from a fluff point of view, without having certain armies being left out (who the heck would work for nids, now that the zoats are gone?).

SteelSpectre
22-12-2010, 05:49
Adding mercs would be a bit tricky from a fluff point of view, without having certain armies being left out (who the heck would work for nids, now that the zoats are gone?).

Precisely, there's just too much xenophobia as well as the emotionless single-minded races for there to be special rules for mercs. Besides, my idea works best. Just go for Imperial guard if you want human mercs or count-as for everything else. Actually, Penal Legionnaires(who I actually like, no matter what anyone says) would make awesome merc count-as, if you wished to use some kind of alien in your human army.

Sternguard777
22-12-2010, 07:05
The problem with mercs is that you can't really be a merc for many different factions. if your a human merc that worked with the tau for a while then your fellow humans won't trust you. if you work with the orks then the tau won't trust you as you worked with some of thier enemies, and so on and so forth. Fighting for the faction would almost be joining that faction in the eyes of your alternative employers, so you really can't profit from it.

Moriarty
22-12-2010, 09:30
At the risk of teaching Grandma to suck eggs:

Mercenaries (Fictional)

The Magnificent Seven

The Dirty Dozen

The Wild Bunch

Dogs of War

The Wild Geese

Falkenburgs Legion

Hammers Slammers

Dorsai

The A Team

Yojimbo

Can be categorised as the lone wolf Independant Character
the commando elite Scouts, Infiltrate/Deep Strike
training cadre Platoon Command Squads
technological support Heavy Weapons Squads
field forces IG Army

Likely 40k races to be Mercenaries Kroot
Ork Freebooterz/Blood Axe Clan (gitz)
Eldar Pirates/Dark Eldar
Squats
Rogue Space Marines
Cut off/abandoned IG
Human pirates
Ogryn
Zoats


Likely hirers of Mercenaries PDF
Inquisitors
Tau
Orks


Mercenaries can occupy the second HQ slot of a FOC. They can be:

Lone Wolf - Independant Character, can be General, giving Ld value to the army; Bodyguard, giving one of their wounds up if their 'principle' is wounded; or Hero, giving Shooting or Close Combat support to the army, but not necessarily at the time or place the army would chose.

Commando Elite - 12 figures or less in one squad. may have the Scout, Infiltrate or Deep Strike special rule. While the unit is still in play, it can be replaced with any squad/vehicle they rout/destroy as they are considered to use captured equipment to fulfil their mission.

Training Cadre - Five figure or less squad attached to two or more Troops choices. While the Cadre is still in play, their attached troops choices can use one IG Doctrine. All Troops choices must stay within IG Command Radius to benefit.

Technological Support - Counts as one (basic) Heavy Support choice from any Codex, or is a transport option vehicle which is attached to a unit allowing it the use of one CoD strategy.

Field Forces - IG Platoon without its Support squads, but with the option to substitute Special weapons for Heavy weapons.

All Mercenary races can only be used by those considered as 'compatable' Allies.

Mentor Legion: 5 Man Teams or single Hero types with special abilities serving with other Chapters, both to show off what they've learned and to pick up tips from the host Chapter

ehlijen
22-12-2010, 12:26
There may well be mercenaries in the background, but but so few of them work for more than one race AND provide something that neither race already has, that they may as well not be anything more than entries in the relevant codices. See Kroot and Harlequins for examples.

But even in Fantasy the mercenary system was never truly fitting. It fits a lot better than in 40k, due to everyone using the same kind of technology and gear (more or less) allowing more trade and thus less xenophobia, but you still end up with mercenaries basically being 'just like your normal troops, but you pay them from a different coffer'. Either that or woodelf cannon teams...

Wishing
22-12-2010, 13:12
I agree that mercenaries are sweet as a concept, but are less suited to being incorporated into other armies and more suitable to be fielded as armies on their own. For example, you could have a Kroot Mercenary army list, and say that when you build a force, you can pick a different race for them to be working for, like Tau, Orks or Chaos. This could then modify what wargear they have access to - if you pick Orks, then the Kroot might have access to some of the ork weapons and wargear instead of tau pulse rifles. Just some stray ideas.

Shamana
22-12-2010, 13:45
The problem with mercs is that you can't really be a merc for many different factions. if your a human merc that worked with the tau for a while then your fellow humans won't trust you.

Well, you won't be considered particularly trustworthy, but if they are in a big enough mess to hire mercenaries in the first place. If humans have been desperate enough to pay money (or more likely guns) to orks, a human company that might have done some work for the blueskins can find work too. As for Kroot... Yes, they mostly work for the Tau, but iirc around half of the kindred still hire themselves out as mercs, and aren't exactly out of business.

In the end, it depends on how desperate the local Imperial commanders are and how well they can justify it. Saying "We were able to exploit squanders among the orks" in your report can make a lot of difference compared to "We hired several bosses as mercs to do most of the work." Why would the commander be at fault that the stupid xenos brutes started fighting among themselves, which allowed him to claim a stunning victory and send them reeling? Some lost equipment (damn those careless conscripts for not being able to stop a greenskin raid / staff ****** who left a valuable convoy undefended) is small potatoes compared to that.

Delicious Ron
22-12-2010, 13:52
To quote Chapter approved 2003

"Do not reject out of hand the mercenary. Consider that each one of these scum is worth three to you: one more on your side, on less on your foes side and one more worker in your ordnance smithies - Magnate-General Constantine Beaumont. 231st Viscount of the Argentium IV General Staff"

MarshalFaust
22-12-2010, 15:10
Obliterators and Raptor Cults are mercs.

Lexington
22-12-2010, 15:46
Most of the "Cult" units from the Chaos Space Marines are mercenaries, or, at the very least, irregulars. Otherwise...not so much, in-game. The sort of game that 5th Edition has become is, sadly, not really the sort of thing that supports mercenaries very well. Conceptually, though, I think they add some interesting flavor to a universe that's all too often split down some very simplistic lines.

ehlijen
22-12-2010, 15:56
To the point of a desperate Imperium hiring mercs:

Sure, they do that. But it will likely end in one of three scenarios:
1) They need the mercs because they have nothing else left.
2) They need the mercs to free up garrison troops for mobilisation.
3) They need the mercs for a campaign because their own forces can't be mobilised.

All 3 scenarios are likely to end with the mercs forming their own companies while in such employ and ending up being indistinguishable from non merc forces of the same origin at the 40k level.

Rarely will an imperial force mix with xenos forces at the company level. Not even supposedly allied marines and guard forces do that.

Comrade Penguin
22-12-2010, 17:58
Ok so there are some tiny examples of the imperium using xenos mercs, but does anyone actually think this should be implemented into the game outside of apoc? Do we really want to see an ork merc unit in the next imperial guard dex? Or some blood angels units in the new necron dex (which did happen according to that horrible new BA fluff :wtf:)? Point is just because there are some cases of the imperium working with xenos does not mean that mercs should become a part of the average 40k game. If you want to recreate some extraordinary battle where the orks worked with the imperium then play apoc. Otherwise you can just use count-as units from your respective codices to represent human mercs.

One of the things I like about the 40k universe is that they are so xenophobic. If they start moving away from that theme then it will be moving closer to a Star Wars or Star Trek themed universe where certain races work hand-in-hand. Give me the grim dark "kill all non-humans" any day over that.

Pontiff
22-12-2010, 18:08
Don't confuse Mercenaries with Allies.

Allies may join forces with a previously hostile foe in dire circumstances (classic past examples are the eldar discovering that if a human world falls to chaos now then at some point in the future it will impact on an eldar craftworld massively as foreseen by a farseer).

Mercenaries on the other hand dont do it for altruistic or even self bettering motives. They do it for pay be it cash, resources or tech.

An Imperial force (or alien) might hire mercenaries to undertake a job they secretly know to be utterly suicidal (if they dont come back you dont have to pay them) or that they need to deny involvement in.

Again back in the day the Imperium would send squads of trusted guard to work disguised as mercenaries alongside orcs but there real mission was to put whispers in a warlords ear and steer him into attacking non imperial targets

Harlequins have traditionally allied themselves with non eldar forces if they are in dire threat from Chaos... they dont expect *payment* they do it to destroy chaos pure and simple.

Darwin_green
22-12-2010, 18:29
personally, I think Imperial guard Veterans and Penal Legionnaires would work fine as "count as" mercenaries, as far as modeling goes. not to mention inquisition storm troops as other assorted troopers.

Erwos
22-12-2010, 18:46
Adding mercs would be a bit tricky from a fluff point of view, without having certain armies being left out (who the heck would work for nids, now that the zoats are gone?).
Tyranids can easily explain mercenaries as part of cultist activity. Some cultist hires them, they show up, OMG, there's the 'nids!

Necrons are harder, but the far-reaching influence of the C'tan might be a potential avenue to explore. (Or, for the more heretical amongst you, that bit in the BA codex with Dante and the Necrons.)

Daemonhunters and Witchhunters both have Inquisition craziness to fall back on.

It could work, fluff-wise. I'm not sure how great a plan it is for the game itself, but it doesn't need to be a forced abomination.

To explore the concept gameplay-wise, I'd rather just see them as fixed units at a fixed points value (eg, all merc units are 250 points), and have a single "merc slot" in the FOC for both sides. Keeps it from getting insane, but also allows for a bit of fun. I'd certainly make the rules optional (eg, expansion).

ChaosTicket
23-12-2010, 07:54
the "evil" races using mercenaries isnt much of a problem, but rather the good guys. Mercenaries in the Imperium would really just be traitors that refuse to join the Guard or become Conscripts.

If Blood Axe orks, or Craftworld eldar help an imperial force(like the Big Toof River massacre) thats frowned upon and possibly even merit Ordo Xenos intervention, but if Imperials actively use Xenos, thats is technically grounds for a death sentence.

Its also hard to think WHY any Xenos would help humans beyond an immediate need, as the Imperial "manifest destiny" is to exterminate every xenos, to claim every world, and to make sure they human race is Ascendant, and everyone is is ground to dust.

There were mercenary/allies rules in 2nd edition but 3rd+ is harder to concieve.

Eumerin
23-12-2010, 08:14
If humans have been desperate enough to pay money (or more likely guns) to orks

For the most part they pay with artificial teef, actually. Though the old Blood Axe specific units used to have access to more Imperial Wargear than other Ork clans did due to the idea that the Imperium had also paid at least in part using equipment.


Its also hard to think WHY any Xenos would help humans beyond an immediate need, as the Imperial "manifest destiny" is to exterminate every xenos, to claim every world, and to make sure they human race is Ascendant, and everyone is is ground to dust

Because the pay is good. And that "manifest destiny" is still milennia away - if you even believe that the humans will pull it off in the first place. They've been trying for well over ten millenia now, and yet somehow most of the major Eldar craftworlds still seem to be around. There are plenty of races that the Imperium tends to turn a blind eye to simply because they're not an immediate obvious threat and it would be too much trouble to dig them out. Instead, the local authorities simply tell themselves that they'll get around to finishing off that particular group of aliens once they've resolved the more immediate threats. And there always appear to be more immediate threats.

And it's not as if the Orks give a toof what the Imperium may think about humanity's "manifest destiny".

Finally, I wouldn't be surprised if a number of Ordo Xenos inquisitors actually support the idea. "Better that the alien bleed and die in defense of humanity instead of bleeding and dying while trying to kill humanity." Sure, it's risky. But at least when they're fighting on your behalf they're not busy trying to raid your settlements.

Shamana
23-12-2010, 08:40
Finally, I wouldn't be surprised if a number of Ordo Xenos inquisitors actually support the idea. "Better that the alien bleed and die in defense of humanity instead of bleeding and dying while trying to kill humanity." Sure, it's risky. But at least when they're fighting on your behalf they're not busy trying to raid your settlements.

There are some, it's been pretty detailed. Radical members of the ordo xenos use aliens with no (ok, not much) more concern than another inquisitor would use a psyker (mutant). I remember an inquisitor somewhere in DH fluff that went to a freaking conclave with a retinue of kroot mercs. The weirdest part is that those among his peers who immediately decried him an apostate were not the majority... until shots were fired, inquisitors killed, and the kroot started having a snack. Basically, the idea of using aliens to do your dirty work or as mooks is not entirely foreign to the Ordo xenos - as long as one keeps them on a short leash and is discrete about it. And it's not like the inquisition is short on money...

AFnord
23-12-2010, 09:50
Tyranids can easily explain mercenaries as part of cultist activity. Some cultist hires them, they show up, OMG, there's the 'nids!

If we were talking about a genestealer cult force, then allies would not be too far fetched, but the way tyranids fight (and what they do to things around them after the battle) would make it quite unlikely that anyone would be prepared to work for them. You would have a better chance of surviving by joining the opposite faction ASAP, even if they are orks (but possibly not necrons), or simply run away.

Utred
23-12-2010, 10:28
Eldar in RT were either Pirates or Merc's. With the Dark Eldar they'd probably relish being mercenaries. Didn't the Tau in the new DE codex find this out? I also think that the CWE would do this from time to time. How else would they interact with an Imperial commander to "steer" him on the right path?

I also think IG armies make great merc forces. But just like the Eldar, they would be counts as "mercenaries" rather than have a specific force list. I see it more as a conversion opportunity than anything else.

Very suprised at people suggesting that because 40k is so grimdark there wouldn't be mercs. Its the very fact that the 40k universe is so grimdark, you'd make a deal with the devil to make your tithe for the Imperium. Even if that means hiring mercenary Xeno scum to raid another imperial world for that tithe.

Killgore
23-12-2010, 11:20
There have been many mentions of Mercs in Black Library books

For example Honsou has an army of Mercs in The Chapter's Due

The Last Chancers enter a Tau Merc camp where there were many races signing up to aid the Tau

Blood Pact made use of Merc units in the Gaunt books (those lizard dudes)

The Galaxy is a big place, and I expect many a planetary Governor has had to turn to outside aide to defend his world from invaders

Erwos
23-12-2010, 12:48
If we were talking about a genestealer cult force, then allies would not be too far fetched, but the way tyranids fight (and what they do to things around them after the battle) would make it quite unlikely that anyone would be prepared to work for them.
You could also justify them by saying they are genestealer cultists, not just hired by them.They're just exceptionally gifted cultists, rather than the usual fodder we put up with in the Citadel Journal and 2E lists. :)

Utred's comments about mercs being more viable, not less, in a grimdark setting are spot on. When it's about species survival, the rules go out the window.

Bookwrak
23-12-2010, 18:51
personally, I think Imperial guard Veterans and Penal Legionnaires would work fine as "count as" mercenaries, as far as modeling goes. not to mention inquisition storm troops as other assorted troopers.
That's what I do. My IG army employs Kroot Mercenaries on a regular basis - Kroot hunters and kroot-ox counting as Penal Legionnaires and Orgyn.

As for standardized merc units, last I heard was that GW didn't want to do sublists anymore, and part of the problem with lists that cross codices is having them end up being worthless when paired with one codex, and over powered with another. Then there's the fact that work on a new faction list is that much less work being done on the existing ones.

KingDeath
23-12-2010, 19:06
The second World Bearers novel featured loyalist mercenaries. The planet in question, a mining world, simply decided that it was more economical to permanently hire a large and professional mercenary corporation than to train and equip a native PDF. Of course, one could wonder what happens if a normal Guard regiment is tithed from such a world. Perhaps the planet in question had a deal with the administratum to replace the normaly tithed regiments with more minerals? It was a mining world after all and a higher production quota might have been better than wasting highly skilled workers as canonfodder.

Sternguard777
24-12-2010, 01:39
There have been many mentions of Mercs in Black Library books

For example Honsou has an army of Mercs in The Chapter's Due

The Last Chancers enter a Tau Merc camp where there were many races signing up to aid the Tau

Blood Pact made use of Merc units in the Gaunt books (those lizard dudes)

The Galaxy is a big place, and I expect many a planetary Governor has had to turn to outside aide to defend his world from invaders

Yes there very well may be mercs kicking around but they would mostly be constrained to working for one faction. Also it would be difficult to implement in game as mercs are more of a one off kind of thing and outside of apoc games are mostly made to represent mainstream battles.